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CAIRO, July 17, 2018 (MENA) - Finance Minister Mohamed Maeit and Minister of Communications Amr Talaat met Tuesday to discuss optimal use of technological solutions to upgrade transaction procedures.

Maeit stressed the importance of cooperation with the Communications Ministry to upgrade services.

He said his Ministry is exerting utmost effort to increase State resources, especially from investments which greatly contribute to creating jobs for youth.

Integration of financial revenues, whether from taxes or customs, is needed, he said, adding that this is what his Ministry is working on.

The communications minister agreed with Maeit on the importance of technological solutions in developing economic resources and countering corruption.

Talaat said his Ministry is willing to share its expertise and potentials to create a secured IT infrastructure for government projects in order to help turn to a digital society and achieve financial inclusion.

The two ministers agreed on forming a joint committee to outline solutions that would improve services offered to citizens.

MOSCOW, July 16, 2018 (News Wires) - Russia is in talks with the New Development Bank, set up by the BRICS group of major emerging economies, about raising more than $1 billion, Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak told reporters on Monday.

If Russia borrows from the New Development Bank, it may trim its borrowing plan at home where it uses so-called OFZ treasury bonds to cover budget deficit.

Storchak said on Monday that Russia would lower state borrowing via OFZ bonds if it had an option to raise money for building roads and bridges from a development bank.

"With the new BRICS development bank alone we are now preparing four new loans," Storchak said, adding that these loans altogether would comprise slightly more than $1 billion.

The Russian Finance Ministry has earlier planned to raise around 1 trillion roubles ($16.08 billion) a year by selling OFZ treasury bonds in 2018-2020.

Russia is part of the BRICS group, which also includes China, Brazil, India and South Africa.

Russia has planned to increase issuance of OFZ bonds to raise financing for a new set of decrees ordered by President Vladimir Putin. The new decrees envisage investments of 8 trillion roubles ($128.60 billion) into Russia's infrastructure, healthcare and education.

In May, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Moscow was creating a special fund worth 3 trillion roubles to finance the infrastructure projects over the next six years, while continuing its regular borrowing via OFZ bonds for budget needs.

 

By the Gazette Editorial Board

Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged a package of $20 billion in loans, and about $106 million in financial aid, to Middle East nations, as part of what he called an "oil and gas plus" model to revive economic growth in the region.

 

During the Eighth Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab States Co-operation Forum (CASCF) held in Beijing yesterday, President Xi announced the creation of a consortium of banks from China and the Arab countries with a dedicated fund of $3 billion.

 

The $3 billion in loans are part of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative suggested by President Xi in 2013 with the aim of reviving the Chinese trade routes linking China with Central Asia and the Arab world. These loans will fund many of the development projects in these countries to help them become part of the Belt and Road project. 

 

Apart from this large amount of money being offered to promote industrial and economic development in various Arab countries, China has decided to offer aid worth $15 million to the Palestinian Authority, to support its economic development and $91 million in financial aid to Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.

 

With this generous offer of aid, China seems to be presenting its credentials as the newly-emerging political power that is ready to help settle many of the political disputes in which some countries of the Middle East are embroiled. It is true that China has chosen not to interfere in any of these conflicts outside the UN Security Council umbrella, but by offering aid to these countries, China means to help minimise the causes and consequences of the political and military dilemmas affecting our region today, especially the Palestinian Cause.

 

Addressing the Arab-Chinese meeting, President Xi urged all parties to respect the international consensus on the Palestinian-Israeli dispute, to ensure it would be handled in a just manner.

 

China has announced a policy of supporting all the UN resolutions that preserve Palestinians rights, and it has also presented a peace initiative to settle the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict based on the two-state solution. The Chinese initiative could be seen as a great alternative to the US "Ultimate Plan" that has been rejected by the Palestinians and various Arab parties.

 

Since Trump's announced recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the subsequent moving of the US embassy to Jerusalem, the Palestinians have been looking for an alternative to the US as peace mediator.

 

Trump has proved his blind bias in favour of Israel, not only by deciding to remove Jerusalem from the negotiating table, but also by being silent about the measures taken by Netanyahu’s government, to kill any chance of the Palestinians building their state on the territories occupied in 1967.

 

Herein emerges the significant role China and other powers such as Europe could play, in standing up for Palestinian rights and confronting the US-Israeli plot to liquidate the cause.

 

China's growing influence in the region and other parts of the world could be the start of the end of the present unipolar world system that is dominated by the US. Taking advantage of its special capabilities, China could have a positive effect on the settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and many of the disputes that have left many Arab countries in disarray.

 

CAIRO, July 2 ,2018 (MENA) - Finance Minister Mohamed Maeet underlined the importance of amending the law regulating bids and tenders, referring to a bill being reviewed by parliament in this regard.

Addressing a parliamentary session on Monday, he said amending the current law of bids and tenders is a must in view of international economic agreements, noting that the old law was drawn up about 20 years ago.

International experts have lauded the drafted version of the new bill, he said.

CAIRO, July 1, 2018 (MENA) - Egypt's Finance Ministry said on Sunday it would auction treasury bonds at a total value of LE182 billion in July.

The ministry said on its website it would sell LE41.5, LE41.5, LE40.250, LE42.750 billion of 91, 182, 273, 364-day bonds respectively.

It also said it would auction LE4 billion of three-year bonds (maturing July 2021) and LE5.2 billion of three-year bonds (maturing July 2023).

The ministry said that it will also auction eight-year bonds (maturing July 2026) worth LE3 billion and 10-year bonds (maturing August 2027) worth LE3.7 billion.

CAIRO, July 1, 2018 (MENA) - Egypt's Finance Minister Mohamed Ma'it said on Sunday Egypt is starting to put into effect the biggest budget in its history for the upcoming 2018/2019 fiscal year.

Egypt’s fiscal year starts on July 1 and lasts until June 30 of the following year.

Ma'it, in press statements, said expenditure in the new budget is estimated at LE1.4 trillion,  200 billion pounds up from the 2017/2018 budget.

The increase of expenditure is attributed to the increase of the salaries of the administrative apparatus that went up from LE 30 to 270 billion  and the increase of budget-financed government investments by 42 per cent from LE70 to 100 billion.

The implementation of the new budget, which coincides with the second term of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, will mirror the directives of the political leadership as regards the economic growth rate, expected to reach 5.8 per cent.

Financial allocations for education and health sector in the new budget unprecedentedly increased from LE 222 to 257.7 billion , he said.

Allocations for treatment at State expense upped from LE 4.6 to 5.7 billion pounds, he added.

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